Set in the timeline prior to 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, season 3 of Rebels was particularly interesting when viewed alongside 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As the story moves closer to A New Hope, and thus Rogue One, we're starting to encounter characters and visuals that are familiar, yet new, along with old friends who've returned to tie-up loose ends that fans have wondered about for years.
One of the biggest characters whose story finally comes to an end in Rebels is Darth Maul. While those who have only seen the films might think that Darth Maul met his end during a fight with a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Maul returned in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, eventually making his way into Rebels as an important figure in the life of Ezra Bridger. It's only fitting that his real end arrives during a re-match with Old Ben Kenobi, set against the sands of Tatooine, right where it all began.
While there's much to love in season 3, the arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn (created by Timothy Zahn, no relation) was a massive highlight, bringing with him Easter eggs galore, and presenting a terrifying adversary for the Rebellion as they become the Rebel Alliance under the leadership of Mon Mothma. We get hints of Thrawn's past conquests, while tying him to the future (he's accompanied by Rogue One's Death Troopers at one point).
As the formation of the Rebel Alliance takes place, we also delve deeper into Sabine's Mandalorian roots, Ezra's path to becoming a Jedi and Hera's rise in rank, all while wondering where exactly Kanan and the crew of The Ghost will end up by the time A New Hope begins. As questions loom, the season 3 blu-ray is packed with bonus features that make an exceptionally entertaining watch. The development of characters like the Bendu, the return to Mandalore, and the care devoted to both story and visuals is captivating to see - especially as season 4 is promising to be massively epic.
Star Wars Rebels - Complete Season Three is available now.